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Kennewick School Staff Save Student After Cardiac Arrest

A.J. Brewster

Luckily, five Kennewick School District employees jumped into action when they noticed something different with one of their middle school students.

Emergency at Dessert Hills Middle School
The Kennewick School District sent an alert to parents about an incident this week where a student suffered cardiac arrest during school. That student suffered a cardiac arrest emergency during PE class and collapsed but survived and will be back to school soon thanks to five quick-thinking staff members,

“(The student) is going to come back to us, and the only reason is because of this crew.”
The Kennewick School District names Courtney Bissinger, Kurtis Clawson, Ken Lattin, Ben Schuldheisz, and Shaun Suss as the five employees who all took part in saving the student’s life. The student is known to have a seizure disorder, but when they collapsed in class Courtney Bissinger noticed something was different. She is a one-on-one paraeducator that had worked with that student for years. She said the student lost color in their face and had stopped breathing.


Quick Action Saves Middle School Student’s Life
Quickly Bissinger helped the student while calling for help from other staff members. The PE teacher, Shaun Suss, ran down to the office to get more help and call an ambulance. He alerted two other staff members, Kurtis Clawson and Ben Schuldheisz about the student and both ran to the gym to help. Kurtis Clawson is a teacher for the school and an ex-Marine with some medical experience. All four staff members arrive at the scene with retired Kennewick Police Officer Ken Lattin that works at Dessert Hills as security.

Staff Confirms Student Has No Heart Beat
Multiple staff members confirmed the student had no pulse and was not breathing and lept into action. Mr. Schuldheisz quickly got the AED (automated external defibrillator) and tried to restart the student’s vital signs with help. The device and quick thinking worked because the student’s heart started, he started breathing again, and color returned to their face. The student was then rushed to a local hospital.

Only 12 Minutes Lapsed Before Student was Inside Ambulance
The entire process from the time the student collapsed to lifting them inside the ambulance took less than 12 minutes thanks to the quick action of everyone involved. According to the release “all facilities in the Kennewick School District have at least one AED for use during the day and by groups renting the spaces after hours.” The staff members involved were emotional while talking about their ordeal but are very glad and grateful the student will be ok. They are expected to make a full recovery and return to school soon.

Kennewick School Staff Save Student After Sudden Cardiac Arrest (


Kennewick School Staff Save Student After Cardiac Arrest
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